School Provisions SLA


Key Contacts:

Lee Marchant, Assistant Head of Service (Senior Manager)
Josh Lenehan, Music Hub Administrator (Support)


Spark! provides an engaging first experience of ensemble music tuition.

With a primary focus on introducing and developing fundamental music skills, Spark! delivers an introduction to instrumental playing and collaborative music-making, with a view to further progression on any musical instrument, as described in the ‘National Plan for Music Education’. Provision is delivered by one lead teacher and one assistant teacher. EMS will provide either or both of these specialist music teachers in line with the needs of the school for 30 weeks per year.

The minimum 2-hour rule that is placed on small group and individual tuition does not apply for Spark! programmes in one-form schools. Instruments available include but are not limited to the following:

Violin Viola Cello Double Bass Singing
Flute Oboe Clarinet Recorder Bassoon
French Horn Trumpet Cornet Trombone Saxophone
Piano Keyboard Euphonium Tuba Fife
Guitar Ukulele Harmonica Sitar Santoor
Percussion Taiko Drums African Drums Tabla Dhol

For standard hire charges see School Menu

Programme Overview

  • whole-class music learning that enables every child to play a musical instrument
  • CPD for class teacher or music coordinator (SBA) by learning alongside the children under the guidance of an EMS instrumental music teacher
  • 45-60 minute lessons for 30 weeks per academic year (Whole class for terms 1 and 2 and small group continuation in term 3)
  • learning focussed on practical music-making, instrumental technique and general musicianship skills and knowledge, which complements the National Curriculum
  • instruments for every pupil to take home and practise
  • performance opportunities for every child within their school
  • access to other performance opportunities within Ealing
  • quality assurance, advice and monitoring from EMS Senior Leadership Team
  • schools choose a programme in consultation with Lee Marchant
  • minimum number of staff required to deliver each programme is two (Lead and SBA)

Schools that are interested in running a Spark! programme in their schools should request a meeting with Lee Marchant (Assistant Head of Service) by emailing

Spark! is an annual programme and accordingly the deadline for requesting Spark! is the last day of the Spring term preceding the year the programme is to commence.

For details of the provision charges and for key dates for the termly billing cycle and for requesting and ending provisions please see Schools Menu.

All WCET programme costs (subsidised and actual costs) are inclusive of:

  • EMS salaries for music teachers’ and assistant music teachers’ (where applicable)
  • Programme materials and resources
  • CPD for music teachers and school based teachers (SBA)
  • Quality assurance and monitoring
  • Recruitment
  • Access to performance opportunities within Ealing
  • Instrument procurement and delivery (where applicable)
  • Administration fees
  • Termly maintenance of instruments

The following sections describe how to arrange the service, manage changes and absences, and other elements of the provision.

EMS will liaise with the school to discuss the school requirements and once agreed details of the provision will be emailed to the school.

Schools should initiate communication with the EMS teacher well before the provision starts. Items you should discuss are:

  • agreeing to timetabling
  • agreeing first day of provision including timings
  • agreeing of teaching dates for rest of academic year (30 per year)
  • suitability of teaching space
  • suitability of pupils (minimum age etc.)
  • ID required to enter school premises (DBS etc.)

EMS teachers are scheduled to teach at 30 weeks per year and will contact the school no later than the end of September to agree the schedule.

This is done by completing and returning an EMS Timetable Confirmation Form (EMS202). The teacher will forward a copy of the form to EMS signed by the school to confirm agreement.

On or before the first week of teaching, Schools must provide the EMS teacher with the following:

  • the School’s SEND policy
  • details of the School’s designated child protection officer
  • the School’s behaviour policy and explanation of how the school expects EMS teachers to deal with inappropriate behaviour
  • a timetable of their tuition together with pupil lists
  • any relevant Individual Education Plans
  • any dress code the school enforces

Schools sign up to Spark! provision for a whole year, therefore cancellation mid-year is not allowed. Schools are not required to sign up for Spark! provision each year, therefore EMS will assume that provision will continue unless an EMS102 Change of Provision Request form is received and receipt confirmed by the last day of the spring term of the preceding academic year.

When WCET was first detailed in “The National Plan for Music” it was expected that having experienced one year of WCET, most pupils continue interest beyond the classroom, both in and out of school, in small group lessons, one to one tuition or in ensembles.

EMS is passionate about students progressing from WCET to some kind of musical interaction and works with schools to enable small group tuition to thrive post-WCET in all schools.

Schools that wish to investigate their own specific progression routes should contact Lee Marchant, EMS Assistant Head of Service ( at their earliest convenience to discuss opportunities further.

Should an EMS teacher is unwell or due to unforeseen circumstances unable to deliver lessons on a certain day, they are required to inform both the school and EMS by 8:30am on the morning of the absence.

The following strategies have been established to ensure continuity of service:

  • Teacher to reschedule lesson during another week in the same term
  • Teacher to reschedule lesson during the following term
  • Teacher to provide a lesson during another day in the same week
  • EMS to arrange a cover make-up lesson at a later date, if possible
  • Refund the school for the relevant hours on their next invoice

Important note:

  • EMS teachers are not allowed to delegate teaching to non-EMS staff.
  • Schools should advise EMS directly of any unscheduled absences by EMS teachers.

Most EMS teachers are professional musicians and so on occasions may request a change in their teaching schedule to accommodate performing commitments.

Teachers will apply for schedule changes directly to the schools concerned, giving at least 4 weeks’ notice.

To ensure continuity of service, teachers must be able to offer one of the following:

  • Teacher to reschedule lesson(s) during another week of the same academic year
  • Teacher to reschedule lesson(s) during another day of the same academic year
  • Teacher to arrange for lessons to be covered by another EMS teacher

Important note:

  • EMS teachers are not allowed to delegate duties to non-EMS staff.
  • Schools unhappy with any planned absences should advise EMS directly.

Schools that need to reschedule specific lessons may do so by providing the relevant tutor and EMS with at least 10 school days’ notice. The rescheduled lessons must be delivered during the same academic year to ensure continuity of employment for the teacher.

If the school is unable to provide at least 10 schools days’ notice then the school will be invoiced for the missed session and the teacher will be paid for the missed lesson.

The Spark! programme has been designed, after extensive trial and research, and requires the EMS teacher to work alongside a ‘school based assistant’ (SBA). As well as being invaluable in supporting the lesson, it is also great CPD for the SBA to learn new skills that could be passed on to other classes and year groups in the school, so a lasting legacy is put in place. An SBA can be any teacher or TA based at the school – but must be a consistent person for the year.

EMS teachers will encourage your SBAs to be an active part of the sessions and training will be provided at different points during the year – this will be free of charge as part of your Spark package at one of our centrally run sessions – failure to attend one of these sessions will result in a consultancy visit to your school that will be chargeable.

Please be aware that a SBA is a requirement of the Spark programme and failure to do so on a regular basis will result in the school losing the Arts Council subsidy – and the FULL COST (see appendix 2).

Schools must notify EMS teachers of any change in pupil lists including new pupils and pupils who stop having lessons for any reason, so the EMS teacher can maintain correct registers at all times.

Schools will also occasionally be asked to complete data returns to support EMS reports to Arts Council England.